Q. What is the chance of pregnancy after taking ECP?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 22, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I had sex with my fiance for four times in the last 24 hours. Some of it was unprotected but we did use a condom each time and he ejaculated into it each time as well. But, in between he does not remember there was a high possibility that the pre-ejaculatory fluid contained some active sperm. It was during my most fertile window period that I had sex. I have taken a morning-after pill within the 72 hour window and lots of online forums stated that the probability of getting pregnant is really low. My worry is that I have had an accidental pregnancy before wherein even though I had taken the morning-after pill within 6 hours; it completely failed to prevent it. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

The success of emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) like an I-pill or unwanted-72 remains 99 percent when the withdrawal bleeding is experienced within next 5-7 days thereby ruling out pregnancy completely due to shedding of endometrium.

Another option besides ECP is to use an intrauterine contraceptive device like copper-T within 72 hours of intercourse which can again prevent pregnancy and it is also 98-99 percent successful but not advised for women who have not delivered yet.

  • So, in your case one has to say that you have done the right thing and if you have taken a morning-after pill within 72 hours then you should not get pregnant.
  • Contraceptive failures may occur and hence no pill is 100 percent protective.
  • However, you may undertake a serum beta-hCG test (human chorionic gonadotropin) after 7 days post-intercourse in the bleeding does not start to rule out pregnancy anyhow to be conclusive.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your quick reply. I have taken Clear 72 pill which is levonorgestrel based. Can you explain what withdrawal bleeding means? When am I supposed to expect it? Is that a sure sign that I am not pregnant? Can someone become pregnant from pre-ejaculatory fluid? I have been feeling extremely nauseous since last night and have been feeling uneasiness in my lower abdomen area. That is what led me to believe that I might be pregnant. Is it too early to tell?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, one can get pregnant with precum fluid (pre-ejaculatory fluid) as well because it contains live sperms.
  • A withdrawal bleeding is a menstrual bleed that you get within 5-7 days after the ECP intake where endometrium is shed off thereby reducing any chances of an implantation and hence preventing pregnancy.
  • The earliest you can detect pregnancy is after 8 days post last intercourse with a serum beta-hCG test where if hCG levels are less than 5 ng/dL, then you are surely not pregnant. So, if the withdrawal bleed missed then the next step is to get a serum beta-hCG test.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

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